9 items from 2015
It says a great deal about the human condition that some people would spend tens of thousands of dollars to climb one of the most dangerous places on Earth.
One early scene in director Baltasar Kormakur’s survival thriller perfectly illustrates this point: a climber totters above an unfeasibly long drop into a deep trench of ice and snow. He’s standing on a rickety ladder most of us wouldn’t use to climb up into a loft. Just as the climber gets his footing, a nearby sheet of ice the size of a double decker bus shears off, leaving the ladder shuddering in its wake. For most of us, this is the kind of situation we’d pay thousands to avoid.
Based on the tragic true story of a 1996 climbing expedition, »
Could it be this year’s Gravity? A 3D adventure-disaster thriller set, not in space, but up a really high mountain? It is based on the real-life incident of 1996, when an attempt to climb Mount Everest ended in a terrifying catastrophe. The film – from British screenwriters William Nicholson and Simon Beaufoy and directed by Baltasar Kormákur – depicts the desperate survival attempts of two separate groups, led by characters played by Jake Gyllenhaal and Jason Clarke. It promises to reawaken memories of the great documfladyentary classic Touching the Void.
Continue reading »
- Peter Bradshaw, Catherine Shoard, Andrew Pulver and Benjamin Lee
Elite mountain climber Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi collaborated on a movie, "Meru" (Music Box, August 14) unlike any you've ever seen before. The difference between this survival doc and others like "Touching the Void" is that professional mountaineer Jimmy Chin, 41, one of a team of three Alpinists who first ascended the Shark's fin route up the central peak of the Himalayan mountain (20,700ft) in October, 2011, is that he juggles three careers as climber, filmmaker and National Geographic photographer. (He's so busy that when Hollywood came calling to get his help on "Everest" he was unavailable.) For "Meru" he and fellow climber Renan Ozturk documented two difficult ascents led by climber legend Conrad Anker. On the first one in 2008, which Chin shot with a little Panasonic, the trio encountered blizzards which delayed their climb, reduced their rations, and forced them to turn back 100 yards from the summit. "It's »
- Anne Thompson
The economic and spiritual significance of Mount Everest is examined in “Sherpa,” a visually magnificent and richly textured documentary centered on the Himalayan guides who’ve led foreigners to the highest place on Earth since 1953. Filmed during the tragic climbing season of 2014 that forever changed how Mount Everest’s lucrative tourist industry operates, this film from experienced Aussie documaker Jennifer Peedom packs an emotional punch to match its awe-inspiring imagery. “Sherpa” is assured of a lengthy fest life and strong sales across all smallscreen platforms, and has claims for niche theatrical exposure. Release details for Down Under and Blighty are to be confirmed.
Completed prior to the devastating Nepal earthquake on April 25, 2015, “Sherpa” began filming as a portrait of the ethnic group whose skills in perilous conditions make the Mount Everest climbing industry possible. The subject matter is a natural for Peedom, whose credits include “Miracle on Everest” (2007) and “The »
- Richard Kuipers
A division of Universal Pictures will distribute Sherpa, Jen Peedom.s feature documentary which chronicles how Sherpas united in grief and anger to reclaim Mount Everest after an avalanche killed 16 of their members. Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Content Group will release the film worldwide, excluding Australia and New Zealand. The doc had its world premiere in official competition at the Sydney Film Festival at a full house at the State Theatre on Sunday, sparking a chorus of admiration on social media. Fox International Channels MD Jacqui Feeney posted on Facebook, .Well done Jen - film was magnificent. Great story well told..
Abigail Sheppard: "Incredible film: at once tragic and inspiring. And beautifully made." James Bradley:. .Congrats Jen, it.s a very powerful and moving film - raises very deep questions about the Everest industry. »
- Don Groves
Director Kevin Macdonald’s Black Sea an is a sturdy old-fashioned thriller, an adventure and treasure hunt set within the confines of a submarine. its captain is played by a burly Jude Law, who leads a group of ruffians down to the bottom of the Black Sea to find a sunken Nazi sub that is rumored to have tons and tons of gold on board. With the drama of the film ratcheted up with crew tension and water conditions, Macdonald’s film is a tense throwback, albeit a parable about the 99% helping each other since they’re on the same boat.
Macdonald previously directed films like How I Live Now, The Last King of Scotland, The Eagle, and Touching the Void. He was also the filmmaker chosen to compile a worldwide stack of footage for the documentary endeavor Life in a Day.
I sat with Macdonald in a roundtable interview »
- Nick Allen
Though his documentary “Touching the Void” earned him a BAFTA, Kevin Macdonald has segued into narrative films like “The Last King of Scotland” — which won an Oscar for Forest Whitaker — and the new thriller “Black Sea,” starring Jude Law as a submarine commander.
What made you think of Jude Law as a rough-and-tumble Scottish submarine captain?
Jude has always been great when he’s done character roles. In this film, he really committed himself in a big way. He aged himself, he put on a lot of weight and he mastered this difficult Scottish accent.
For someone who didn’t intend to make fiction films, you have a way with actors.
Mostly I’m just in awe of them. I could never do what they do. When an actor gives a great performance, it’s the closest you can get to magic, because you don’t fully understand how they »
- Jenelle Riley
By Anjelica Oswald
After narrowing the Oscar documentary feature shortlist to five at the 87th Academy Award nominations Jan. 15, a number of notable exclusions were featured, particularly Al Hicks‘ Keep on Keepin’ On, which documents the mentorship and friendship of a jazz legend and a blind piano prodigy, and Steve James‘ Life Itself, about the life and career of famed film critic Roger Ebert. (James is no stranger to snubs and the exclusion of his 1994 film Hoop Dreams led to rule reform within the documentary category.) Both films hold 97 percent positive ratings on Rotten Tomatoes.
Some films surprised when they didn’t even land a spot on the shortlist, such as Red Army, which examines the rise and fall of the Soviet Union’s hockey team from the perspective of its coach. That film holds a 100 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
In light of these best documentary feature snubs, »
- Anjelica Oswald
Do: check the instructions (Wild)
This month sees the release of Wild, based on Cheryl Strayed's memoir about her solo hike along the gruelling 1,000 mile Pacific Crest Trail. Cheryl (Reese Witherspoon) certainly doesn't make it easy for herself, buying the wrong type of gas cylinder for her stove and thus being forced to subsist on a diet of "cold mush."
Don't: give up (Touching The Void)
Consider the obstacles that Joe Simpson faced during his calamitous attempt to climb Peruvian mountain Siula Grande: a broken leg; a fall into a crevasse; and zero hope of rescue after partner Simon Yates left him for dead. And yet, as recounted in classic documentary Touching The Void, Simpson gritted his teeth and dragged himself through hell to reach safety.
Do: stay calm (Life Of Pi)
Travel is unpredictable. One minute, like Indian teenager Pi (Suraj Sharma), you're emigrating to Canada aboard a freighter. »
9 items from 2015
IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.See our NewsDesk partners